Here we are again, the holidays, starting with Christmas and then because of summer vacations, often stretching late into January and sometimes early February the old dilemma raises its head, what do we train when there is no one to train with?

The short answer is always practice our Forms.

The thing is we all kind of know that it is not practice that makes perfect, but perfect practice that makes perfect, this can cause doubts around solo training, “am I doing this correctly,”? “will it undo all the hard work that I have put in”?

This often deters us from deep study of the Forms until well into our training, but even once a we begin to look for the value in the Forms the information is scattered, subtle and difficult to pin down without guidance once again the old doubts raise up.

Wing Chun Forms are not Shadow Boxing Sets, they are Chi Kung Sets, their aim is to prepare and condition the body for the work ahead, in short they are Wing Chun specific exercises and in many ways they cannot be done wrong, after all it is just movement, and once we accept that what we are learning is just a movement exercise then we can do almost any movement exercise and still gain benefit, this is true of most Martial Arts styles and to be expected also true of most sports and holiday pastimes think of Skating, Surfing, Golf, Football, Swimming, Rock Climbing or Bike Riding, are these pursuits in any way related to Wing Chun? There must be and is a common denominator, what do these different disciplines have in common, what is at the core of them that we can utilise.

The common denominator to all physical activity is posture and balance, specifically how to maintain good shape and balance through increasingly complex sets of movement, with the finer details being co-ordination, hand – eye, hand – foot, lower body – upper body, moving everything all at once and all together, learning how to get the whole body to work together.

With the right mindset what we do on our holidays can still be training, if we can see where the worlds collide, even queuing up for Fish and Chips can be turned into training.

Some of the most effective and deepest exercises are the most simple, be warned that simple does not necessarily mean easy { though most of them are}, it means uncomplicated.  The simplest and possibly most important posture and balance exercise for Martial Arts is standing still {like queuing for them fish and chips}, think about it, if we cannot be balanced in a good shape while we are still how do we expect to be balanced and in a good shape when we move.

Standing still sounds easy, it sounds like we just do nothing, that thought changes pretty quickly once we try it.  Standing still requires the involvement of every muscle and every bone in the body, it requires good balance to be still, and good balance requires good posture, even when we have achieved the physical aspects we discover that you cannot have a still body without a still mind.

Despite what I said about it not being possible to be in a good shape and well balanced when moving if we cannot do it while still, which I genuinely think, the only way to learn how to be still is to approach it through movement, a series of controlled stops and starts, moving ever slower as our understanding progresses, sneaking up on stillness. Slow strolls on the beach can lead to stillness, can lead to standing ankle deep in the warm Pacific Ocean, no thoughts to cloud the mind, just the view.

That’s what I call serious and deep training, but just in case you want something a bit more connected to what we do I have put up some videos on the Members page, check out the page Effective Movement.









Happy holidays, stay frosty, see you all in 2018.



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